GBHS Debaters Place at Inaugural Ad Astra Debate tournament


Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Ryan Armendariz & Dathan Proffitt, Katria Kindscher & Addy Dougherty, Angel Palacio & Thomas Henrikson, Xanna Smith & Raven Pafford-Marcum, Skylar Fletcher & Isaiah Smith, Olivia Roberson & Alondra Alvarez

This past Saturday the Panther debate squad entered a virtual Varsity, JV, and Novice contest sponsored by Ad Astra Debate.  The Ad Astra organization was formed by coaches in Wichita to host contests that preserve Kansas’s local competition circuits during the pandemic.   Across the state, schools have been wrestling with the learnin  curve and technological requirements of online tournament hosting.  Ad Astra Debate stepped in to lead the way and assist area coaches with tournaments.  This past Saturday was their inaugural event. Great Bend High School was represented by varsity leaders Skylar Fletcher and Isaiah Smith.   They won rounds against Haven and Eldorado in the Open division, but fell to Campus and the tournament champions from McPherson.  They ended the tournament in tenth place.

Sophomores, Katria Kindscher and Adeline Dougherty, finished seventh place in the Junior Varsity division.  They beat Topeka West and Derby while suffering losses to a different Derby team and a McPherson team. Also debating in the Junior Varsity division were Sophomores, Xanna Smith and Raven Pafford Marcum.  They showed a lot of perseverance throughout the day.  They were defeated by Osage City, Hoisington and Derby but were victorious over a different Osage City team.

The Panther novice debaters were also very successful.  In their first tournament ever, Angel Palacio and Thomas Henrikson, defeated Hutchinson, Wichita Northwest and Holton, but lost to a different team from Holton.  Their 3-1 record earned them 5th place medals.

Novices, Olivia Roberson and Alondra Alvarez were victorious over Derby and Wichita Northwest but were unable to win against a different Derby team and a team from Lansing.  Finally, the Freshman and Sophomore duo of Ryan Armendariz and Dathan Proffitt beat Maize and McPherson but lost to Derby and Goddard Eisenhower.

Next Saturday, the debaters will compete at an online tournament co-hosted by Sterling and Lyons high school.